Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies officials had discussions about potentially moving Nick Pivetta to the bullpen. If the circumstances were right, manager Gabe Kapler said, “It’s something we’ll consider.”
Pivetta, 26, was recently sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after posting an ugly 8.35 ERA in his first four starts of the season. Going into the season, Pivetta was a popular candidate for a breakout. In his most recent start for the IronPigs, Pivetta struck out 14 batters over six innings. Doing that at the major league level, however, is a much different story.
The Phillies have been bitten by the injury bug, as Vìctor Arano, Tommy Hunter, and David Robertson are all on the injured list. Despite that, the Phillies’ aggregate 4.27 bullpen ERA ranks 13th across baseball.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.